Arena Holdings | Sowetan-Live | Website Preview | Case Studies


In 2018, SowetanLIVE, a publication owned by Arena Holdings (formerly Tiso Blackstar Group), built a dedicated website for the matric results. Here, matric learners could subscribe ahead of time, build a profile, opt-in for notifications when the results came out, and see interesting stats on those results.

This case study is on the email notification sent to these subscribers when the results were released; an email that got a click-to-open rate of 75%. In other words: three-quarters of all people who opened the email clicked on the link directing them to the website.


The email objectives were to:

  • Notify subscribers that the exam results had been published
  • Direct them to SowetanLIVE’s matric results website
  • Prevent subscribers from going to competitor sites for the results

Target Market

SowetanLIVE’s target market was all 2018 matric pupils in South Africa. Their email database consisted of pupils who’d registered on their matric exam website and opted in to receive email notifications like this one.


SowetanLIVE used Everlytic to build a mailing list of registered users. Then, they designed the notification ahead of time, so it was ready to go as soon as the results were published. Personalisation was used in the email to greet each recipient by name.

The Results

Unsurprisingly, SowetanLIVE saw a fantastic response to this email.

  • Delivered: 2,752
  • Unique opens: 2,151
  • Total opens: 4,964
  • Open rate: 78.2% (industry average: 21.09%)
  • Clicks: 58.4% (industry average: 3.15%)
  • Click-to-open rate: 75% (industry average: 15%)
  • Unsubscribes: 2
  • Unsubscribe rate: 0.1% (industry average: 0.26%)

These results beat all our benchmarks, contributing, in part, to what was the matric website’s two highest traffic days (a total of 224,535 unique users and 1,867,355 pageviews), and adding value to subscribers with the much-anticipated notification.

“Everlytic is a valued partner to Arena Holdings, not only for our regular daily email communication with our hundreds of thousands of readers, but also at times when we want to communicate with our readers about special projects or promotions. The annual release of the matric results is one such project and notifying those matric pupils who registered on our results site by email on the day of the results release drives instant traffic to us in huge volumes.”

– Riaan Wolmarans, Managing Editor: Digital, Arena Holdings

Success Factors

SowetanLIVE saw an opportunity to create hype around the matric results by offering students (and probably parents) an offer they couldn’t refuse. After all, most matric pupils are thrilled to receive an email telling them their results have been published. For SowetanLIVE, it was a way to keep their website top of mind and to drive subscribers there, rather than to competitor sites.

Everlytic Features

The Everlytic features used for this email included:

  • Database management: Contact list uploaded and managed on our platform
  • Email coder: To create, design, and send the email notification to their 2,753 subscribers
  • Personalisation: Emails were addressed to subscribers by name
  • Analytics: To assess the effectiveness of their email campaign in driving traffic to their website
Find out how Everlytic can enable you to send hyper-personalised emails that drive better engagement.